Abingdon Summer Party 2002
Follow Up - by Jim Evans
Approximately 100 cars turned out this year for THE ABINGDON SUMMER PARTY held August 15 - 18 in Abingdon, Illinois.
A major highlight of the event was the participation of the “MMM Register” group who brought a variety of delightful MG’s dating back to the 1930’s. Seeing these cars up close presented an excellent opportunity to observe the progress of automotive history throughout the pre-war and early post-war years.
Guest of honor Peter Thornley was a prominent participant in all events throughout the weekend, and entertained the group as an after dinner speaker with stories of his father John Thornley, manager of the Abingdon factory for MG for many years. Special guest John Twist again took time to provide a motoring version of “ER” for the crowd with a parking lot Tech Session dealing with the mechanical surprises experienced by attendees on their way to the event.
Great weather helped to provide a great time for all. Although cloudy skies threatened during the car show on Saturday morning, the rain passed by leaving the field clear for the “Famous Abingdon Gymkhana” during the afternoon. This year, a record number of drivers participated including Peter Thornley in an “M - type” Midget (circa 1935) that he has owned since he was a teenager, and also a current teenager, driving on a permit with his dad at his side, in a beautiful 30’s PA model. What fun to watch this crowd! Not to exclude at least two newer club members (no names but one with a white 1968 MGB and one with a white 1975 MGB) who completed the course with huge top-down, bugs-in-your-teeth grins. They’ll be back for sure!
This year we again attracted the attention of a local radio station that broadcast live from the car show with interviews of the crowd. Also, a video team taped most of the weekend with hopes of a PBS-type product to be released this fall: sometimes we forget how interesting our cars are to other people.
The ABINGDON SUMMER PARTY will be held again next August, so watch for further details. In 2004, the Summer Party will move back to Grand Rapids, MI, under the direction of John Twist for a “Five Year Reunion”; that year our club will also host a reunion by conducting our Abingdon weekend in late September as was done in years past.
Supercharged MG C-Type negotiating
the Famous Abingdon Gymkhana
More pictures of the Abingdon Summer Party 2002 at